Bob Dylan – In My Time Of Dyin’

Bob Dylan - In My Time Of Dyin'

Recorded by BOB DYLAN, vocal/guitar/harmonica, New York, NY, Nov 20, 1961; released on “Bob Dylan,” Mar 19, 1962;
likely source: Josh White, 1933.

 “In My Time of Dying” (also called “Jesus Make Up My Dying Bed” or a variation thereof) is a traditional gospel music song that has been recorded by numerous musicians. The lyrics “Jesus goin’ a-make up my dyin’ bed” appear in historian Robert Emmet Kennedy’s Mellows – A Chronicle of Unknown Singers published in 1925, on Louisiana street performers, and also listed in the Cleveland Library’s Index to Negro Spirituals.  They refer to a deathbed and were inspired by a passage in the Bible from Psalms 41:3 “The Lord will strengthen him upon the bed of languishing, thou wilt make all his bed in his sickness”.

 

The song gained greater prominence in popular music when Bob Dylan included a version (along with several others dealing with the subject of death) on his 1962 eponymous debut album. The song had a slightly different name on the Dylan album, “In My Time of Dyin’.”

The liner notes to the album explain

Dylan had never sung ‘In My Time of Dyin’ ‘ prior to this recording session. He does not recall where he first heard it. The guitar is fretted with the lipstick holder [makeshift slide ] he borrowed from his girl, Suze Rotolo, who sat devotedly and wide-eyed through the recording session

 

Dylan delivers the vocals to this traditional song with alot of anger in his voice, over a pounding acoustic guitar rhythym. This is one of the highlights of the CD. Some Led Zeppelin fans may already be familiar with this song as they also covered this song, but it’s alot longer and lot more bluesy than this raw version.

 

Well, in my time of dying don’t want nobody to mourn
All I want for you to do is take my body home
Well, well, well, so I can die easy
Well, well, well
Well, well, well, so I can die easy
Jesus gonna make up, Jesus gonna make up
Jesus gonna make up my dying bed

Well, meet me Jesus, meet me, meet me
in the middle of the air
If these wings should fail to me
Lord, won’t you meet me with another pair
Well, well, well, so I can die easy
Well, well, well
Well, well, well, so I can die easy
Jesus gonna make up, Jesus gonna make up
Jesus gonna make up my dying bed

Lord, in my time of dying don’t want nobody to cry
All I want you to do is take me when I die
Well, well, well, so I can die easy
Well, well, well
Well, well, well, so I can die easy
Jesus gonna make up, Jesus gonna make up
Jesus gonna make up my dying bed

 

Led Zeppelin In My Time of Dying rehearsal -rare-

 Blind Willie Johnson – In My Time Of Dying / Jesus Make Up My Dying Bed

 

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